Gratitude In Short Supply . . .

One of the news stories coming from President Trump’s recent trip to China dealt with the three American athletes who had been apprehended by the Chinese authorities for shoplifting from two or three stores in China. By the time the President was in China, the three young men were on house arrest and facing the possibility of ten years in prison for their crime. President Trump appealed to the President of China on their behalf and within a day of discussion, the three young men were on a plane home.

Although each of the three athletes thanked President Trump in their news conference, to me, it sounded rather robotic and insincere. Since the public ‘thank you’, one player’s father came out saying his family had no reason to be grateful to the president, saying, “Who? What was he over there for? Don’t tell me nothing. Everybody wants to make it seem like he helped me out.”

Then he elaborated: “As long as my boy’s back here, I’m fine. I’m happy with how things were handled. A lot of people like to say a lot of things that they thought happened over there. Like I told him, “They try to make a big deal out of nothing sometimes.” I’m from L.A. I’ve seen a lot worse things happen than a guy taking some glasses. My son has built up enough character that one bad decision doesn’t define him. Now if you can go back and say when he was 12 years old he was shoplifting and stealing cars and going wild, then that’s a different thing. Everybody gets stuck on the negativity of some things, and they get stuck on them too long. That’s not me. I handle what’s going on, and then we go from there.”

If President Trump hadn’t intervened and his son was sent to a Chinese prison for ten years, I wonder how soon this parent would have asked (probably demanded!) help for his erring son. His remarks certainly reveal how the moral compass is working in the world today. Those three boys were representing America and they disgraced themselves and our country. In spite of that, President Trump didn’t want to leave American citizens in a foreign prison and worked to have them released and sent home. Sounds to me like this one, particular father is stuck on negativity himself in disrespecting the President.

The Catholic Church In China . . . As It Pertains to Us

In China, there are two Catholic Churches – one run by the government and the underground church that is loyal to Rome. Of late, it seems like the Pope is more interested in negotiating with the government than dealing with the mistreatment and harassment of the people who continue to practice the real Catholic Faith even if they have to go into hiding to do so. They need to keep a low profile to protect the brave priests who struggle to bring them the sacraments. They keep on constant guard in hopes of raising their children to continue the battle when they are gone.

It kind of hit home with me in view of the recent Rosary Rallies held throughout the United States in celebration of the 100 year anniversary of the Miracle at Fatima. Although there were good turnouts, the percentage of people who participated were small compared to the numbers in the congregations. We haven’t ever really felt the burden of persecution  to be Catholics.

The world is getting more and more interested in reshaping faith and religion today and we see some of the effects right now. We need to pray more for our fellow Catholics in China and other places in the world while giving thanks that we haven’t had to face the same here . . . yet.

We had almost fifty people at our Rosary Rally which was exciting especially when we touched the hearts of people driving by and seeing us there unafraid to proclaim our own joy. I’m thinking that Catholics should take every opportunity for public displays of prayer before we discover a world where we have to go underground, too.

What Next?

Headline from the Conservative Tribune

People With Mental Health Issues Can Now Seek Waivers to Join Ranks of U.S. Army
Uncle Sam wants YOU — and your self-mutilation, bipolar disorder, depression and drug and alcohol abuse.

Sounds perfect . . . Going to let them man nuclear installations, too?